Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but I think Ben's lost his mojo, 28 April 2013
This review is from: Two Brothers (Hardcover)
I love Ben Elton's books. Stark, Gridlock. Chart Throb, High Society - superb ! Past Mortem (my favourite), Inconceivable (must have read it 10 times), Dead Famous, the sublime Popcorn, all excellent. He showed he could tackle serious subjects - drug laws, media exploitation, infertility, environmental degradation - with intelligence, warmth and humour, and provide a great read at the same time.

But since he started to tackle issues without the humour, for me the spark has gone. The rot seemed to have set in with Blind Faith, which was readable enough, but hollow without the life-sustaining laughs. Meltdown continued the trend, seeming half-hearted and lacking conviction, and now this rather lame and fanciful tale prompts the question - has he lost his mojo ?

I am not suggesting for one second that Two Brothers should have been made a "funny" tale (although it does contain some gallows humour); that would have been quite inappropriate, if not downright insulting. But I just don't think Ben Elton can convincingly do subjects without the humour ; it simply doesn't work for me.

I found the writing curiously rushed, poorly-paced, naïve, even childlike (more than once he referred to someone giving "the German salute", rather than the Nazi salute). I must say that it was refreshing to read a story about the treatment of the Jews in WW2 without pandering to the usual concentration-camp horror; the gradual whittling away of rights and protections they believed were theirs as citizens was quite as sobering, but just rather clunkily done. Judging by the other reviews I appreciate that I am in a minority here, but I speak honestly as a disappointed fan. Come on, Ben - please return to what you do best.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Mar 2014 21:52:51 GMT
As a fan like you I agree with your assessment of Bens recent books and I would include Inconceivable to the list. I might eventually agree with you on this book but still intend to read it as hope springs eternal that he will return to his former glory.
Jaybeeaytch
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